Acute Kidney Injury

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Acute kidney injury (AKI), previously called acute renal failure (ARF), is a rapid loss of kidney function. Its causes are numerous and include low blood volume from any cause, exposure to substances harmful to the kidney, and obstruction of the urinary tract. AKI is diagnosed on the basis of characteristic laboratory findings, such as elevated blood urea nitrogen and creatinine, or inability of the kidneys to produce sufficient amounts of urine. AKI may lead to a number of complications, including metabolic acidosis, high potassium levels, uremia, changes in body fluid balance, and effects to other organ systems. Management includes supportive care, such as renal replacement therapy, as well as treatment of the underlying disorder.

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